Research Seminar: Critical GIS
W 2:30-5:20 (Winter 2012)
This seminar explores conceptual, epistemological, and methodological elements of critical GIS research. Critical GIS is defined in many different ways but some of its central commitments include: Examining GIS, cartographic representations, and spatial data as socially and politically constructed; using GIS to support multiple epistemologies and methodologies; Incorporating spatial technologies in research that illustrates and challenges social, political, and economic inequities.
Our exploration of critical GIS through the quarter is organized around some of the central dimensions of critiques of GIS (and responses to them), including cartographic and geovisual representation, digital spatial data, mixed methodologies, epistemological possibilities and limitations, and participation/deliberation. Further, we consider not just GIS as such, but an ever-expanding number of new spatial-digital innovations – interactive online mapping services, handheld spatial devices, geotagged multimedia, crowdsourced geographic data sets, the ‘geoweb’, and more. The proliferation of these new spatial media mean that critical GIS must now be conceived beyond conventional forms of geographic information systems and our conceptual and methodological frameworks reconsidered accordingly.